Jalandhar, India, Sep 18, 2018 / 18:01 pm
A Catholic bishop in India accused of raping a nun repeatedly over the course of two years has written to the Vatican asking permission to be relieved of his duties as bishop while the case is investigated.
"Bishop Franco Mulakkal wrote a letter to Holy Father Pope Francis expressing his desire to step aside temporarily and requested to be relieved from the administration of the Diocese," the Diocese of Jullundur, which Mulakkal leads, said in a statement released over the weekend and reported by Reuters.
The request came days before Sept. 19, when Mulakkal is set to be questioned by police in the southern state of Kerala, and after protests calling for his arrest have escalated.
Seven nuns gathered in a public square in Kochi earlier this month to protest how both police and the Church have responded to one nun's accusation that Bishop Mulakkal raped her in 2014 and sexually abused her multiple times over two years.